So yesterday I was driving to Santa Barbara and the sunset was so spectacular, I actually proclaimed – out loud – “Cheese and Macaroni!” Seriously – it was one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever witnessed. And it kept getting more and more dazzling, right up until the sun dipped beyond the Pacific Ocean.


Unfortunately, I was unable to capture the true magnificence of that sunset, as I was traveling alone. It is mighty hard to capture a great photo while also operating a vehicle. Go figure.


Still – that sunset was top-notch. The best sunset our dirty air can buy.




Today is the first day of Autumn. Before I look forward, I want to look back.


I think Mister and I really took advantage of Summer this year. We were in that pool every chance we got, and that’s saying something as we don’t have a pool heater and the water can be a wee bit chilly, y’all. We grew tomatoes and basil to the best of our abilities and ate them beyond our abilities. (The tomatoes are long-gone but the basil lives on in a ton of pesto.) We hit a couple of open-air venues for shows, and in L.A. those are some of the loveliest outings available. We spent exactly one whole day at the beach, and though that may induce eye-rolling since we live on the Pacific edge of land, it’s one day more than we spent by the sea last year. So there. We walked through our neighborhood on July 4th – along with a few hundred other neighbors – and enjoyed fireworks as part of the community. There was also plenty of drinking, eating and socializing this Summer. Of course, those things seem to happen every Summer.


We also had a serious A/C outing this past Summer, and I did not appreciate that one bit. But during that heat wave, I got up each morning and opened the front door wide in hopes of getting some cool morning air into the house (and hot, stagnant air out). With the front door open, I sat with my coffee and witnessed the world in its waking. Each morning was quiet and, though I was watching the whole world (or as much of it as my aging eyes could see), personal. Those mornings were still and calm. And they helped.


It will be hot in L.A. for a while, if only intermittently. And I may find myself taking a few more dips in that pool. But make no mistake – Autumn is here. Her light is different. Her food is different. Her social patterns – different. And I welcome her with open arms. If I’m caught looking back over my shoulder on all that was Summer, it won’t mean I don’t appreciate what lies before me.


Autumn. I’m ready.

Wow! What a Day! – Part 1 of 3



Mister and I had occasion to spend a day last week at Venice Beach. (I’ll go into the reasons and those details in my next few posts.) The day was a hot one, and though the Pacific Ocean looked mighty inviting, we know just how cold that water is and, well, how dirty it is, too. So we admired its coolness from a distance and walked around the area for a few hours.


We passed by a bit of graffiti that was too personal to ignore…



We saw the canals of Venice, which look nothing like the canals of Venezia, but are still pretty danged awesome…



We also walked the Boardwalk for a few miles and I have to admit, I definitely slipped into freak-overload there. I usually enjoy the people-watching at the beach. For some reason, this trip just got to be too much. I blame the heat, as it was in the high 90′s – at the beach! That’s unheard of, y’all. So when Mister and I had hit the beach wall, I suggested we head back to our car and take a bit of a nap before our local evening commitment. I love that guy for about a jillion reasons, and his agreeing to a car nap was at the top of the list that day, I tell ya.



So after our evening commitments and a long, long day (again – I’ll tell all in the next couple of posts), it was time to head home.


I snapped one last pic of Venice Beach and we aimed toward sleep. On the way home, all I could say was, “Wow! What a day!” It surely, surely was.



Jumping Waves



Have you ever jumped waves? It requires an ocean (or a lake large enough to have tides). I hadn’t jumped waves for eons, so last week when Mister and I waded into Maui’s warm Pacific waters, I wasn’t sure I’d remember what to do. As it turned out, knowing how to jump waves is one of those things we just don’t forget.


We made our way out to a point where I could still stand. Once in a while Mister wandered out farther, as he’s taller than I. But mostly, we stayed together. When the waves were evenly spaced, we were able to predict when to jump, keeping our heads above the water. When the waves wanted to have a little fun with us, none of our predictions helped. We took buckets of water in the face, ears and nose. There was a lot of laughter, and we barely stopped smiling.


When jumping waves, one can either use the ocean floor to push off, or simply tread water. With strong enough legs, treading alone allows a gal to keep her head up as the waves roll by. I used both techniques to great success. Though I suppose the amount of sea water I took in my sinuses might suggest otherwise.


One day, a nearby snorkeler told us there was a giant sea turtle just beneath Mister’s feet (we were out a bit deeper that day). We tried and tried, but we never saw the turtle.


On another day, an older gentleman kept trying to coax his wife out into the waves with him. She resisted for quite a while, but finally gave in. The only sound louder than their shared laughter was our own.


Before this vacation (our first in years), I was so stressed out that I was starting to have physical reactions. Nervous ticks, twitches, spasms. I had been so focused on what I perceived as Mister’s need of a break and a chance to relax that I failed to notice my own desperate state. When I finally realized how frenzied I was, I stressed myself out further by fretting over how (or even if) I’d be able to let go and have fun. How was I going to relax? How was I going to trust that everything was okay?


On that very first morning of vacation, during our very first wave-jumping session, Mister reached out and pulled me close. I lifted my feet from the sandy ocean floor, and allowed him to support me and keep me afloat. As a giant wave rolled in our direction, he said, “It’s okay. I’ve got you.” Then he jumped and lifted me above the passing wave. I wasn’t alone and didn’t have to fear the world as it tumbled toward me. I was in Mister’s arms. As I looked at the shoreline, I could hear another approaching wave. I felt Mister pull me closer and I knew he’d time his jump perfectly. He had me. He really and truly did.